Updates from CES
by Paul Schroeder
After taking in a couple of sessions focusing on tech and seniors, William Reuschel and I tackled the exhibit floor (the lifeblood of CES).
We got a chance to check out the Sensus from Canopy (a maker of game controllers for the iPhone), which has developed a nifty prototype for doing braille input on the iPhone using a touch-sensitive case. The input controls are on the top and back side of the case, with the fingers curled around the two ends of the phone). I was able to get the hang of brailing fairly quickly. It's not quite ready for primetime, but could prove interesting for those who would prefer braille input to the touch-screen QWERTY keypad.
Possibly of greater value might be the zoom control that Canopy is developing to enable individuals with low vision to use the entire display with the zoom controls moved to the backside of the iPhone case.
It's great to see a mainstream company taking interest in some key accessibility areas.
We also got our hands on the Tactus keypad. It features dynamic buttons that appear and disappear (rise up and shrink back down) as needed. Tactus has developed this system for use with touch-screen tablets, and possibly smart-phones.
The bubble style keys felt solid and responded well. Currently, they've developed a qwerty keypad and either have or soon will have the phone-style keypad. They're in discussions with companies to incorporate their system.For those who want the tactile keypad with the convenience of the touch-screen controls, this might well be the answer.
I also am imagining the possibilities of being able to add other tactile features to displays for orientation and information purposes. Tactus isn't there yet, but they hope to make it happen.
Oh yeah, and there were lots of big-screen TVs too. Big yawn from me on that! But everyone else was practically kicking my cane out of my hand to get close to the TVs. Go figure.
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